Howdy Gamers! Defense of the Ancients was a Warcraft 3 mod that was wildly popular. So popular in fact that Valve released a full stand-alone sequel (DOTA2) in 2013. DOTA was the “game” that created the MOBA genre and is still going strong. Its gameplay model is still the standard mode for many MOBA games.
DOTA2 pits 2 teams of 5 against each other, each team projecting the Ancient in their base. There are 3 paths or lanes to the enemy base that creeps, weak AI characters, spawn and travel down towards the other teams base. Areas off the paths are the called the Jungle. Their are neutral creeps at camp in the Jungle that protect useful items and the team that defeats the creeps gets the goods. Each hero has a set of abilities that use mana points to cast. A heroes mana pool is limited, and takes time to regenerate so time of abilities can be a key factor in winning or losing a battle. The heroes can be divided into 2 primary types; cores and supports. Cores are typically weak in the beginning of the match, but as they progress in the math, become more powerful. THey are also the main damage dealing types, and lead the charge against the opposing team. Supporter duty is typically to heal and buff the cores to allow them to fight at their maximum potential.
Players can use the Talent Tree to improve the development of the hero during the match. Items can also be bought at the shop in-game to enhance heroes. These items are purchased with gold earned during the match, and some are lost when a hero is killed. Heroes have a cooldown until they respawn then they are placed in their own base. There are a few game modes that mainly affect the way players choose their heroes. In a standard match, there is a draft phase where players choose their heroes. There can only be one of each hero in a match, so selecting heroes can be a strategic choice. There are a few other modes that slightly change the rules. In All Pick, there are no hero selection restrictions. In All Random, each team is randomly chosen by the game. There is also a Captain’s Mode, where one team captain chooses the team’s heroes and is typically used for competitive esport play. Occasionally, there are also themed events that have new rules too.
Though the learning curve for getting gear, talents, and timing down, DOTA2 has received high ratings and still has a large player base. So if you are new to MOBA’s and want to give one a shot DOTA2 is a great place to start anywhere you can play Steam games!